ESPN has released its power rankings for head coaches, and you will find the HC of the NYJ at No. 7. Rex Ryan deserved better, slightly better.
The rankings have him behind the Giants' Tom Coughlin (No. 6), and it says here that Ryan should've been ahead of his New York counterpart.
My top 10:
1. Bill Belichick, Patriots (No. 1 in ESPN power rankings)
2. Mike Tomlin, Steelers (No. 2)
3. Sean Payton, Saints (No. 5)
4. Mike McCarthy, Packers (No. 4)
5. Andy Reid, Eagles (No. 3)
6. Rex Ryan, Jets (No. 7)
7. Tom Coughlin, Giants (No. 6)
8. John Harbaugh, Ravens (No. 10)
9. Lovie Smith, Bears (No. 8)
10. Mike Shanahan, Redskins (No. 10)
Few, if any, professions on earth are more what-have-you-done-for-me-lately than coaching in the NFL. Ryan belongs ahead of Coughlin because he has won four playoff games over the last two seasons (all on the road). Coughlin, too, has four post-season wins -- in seven years with the Giants. Yes, he won a Super Bowl in 2007, but his team collapsed the last two seasons to miss the playoffs, and he barely survived the last one.
No doubt, somebody out there is going to note that Belichick has gone three straight years without a playoff win, but the man won three Super Bowls in a four-year span. Until somebody else comes along and does that, he deserves to be No. 1. Reid hasn't won any Super Bowls, but he wins the "Highest-Ranked-Coach-Never-to-Win-a-Super-Bowl" title because of nine post-season appearances.
Ryan turns off a lot of people because of his big mouth, and, yes, he hasn't been able to get it done in the AFC Championship Game, but look at the facts: He's 20-12 in the regular season, 4-2 in the postseason, doing all that while breaking in a neophyte quarterback. When he arrived, the Jets had no identity. Now they're known as a physical, defensive-minded team, mirroring Ryan's personality and philosophy.
If the Jets fail to deliver on Ryan's Super-Bowl guarantee in 2011, it'll be a hit to his reputation, for sure. But for now, give him his props.